To top off the star-studded panelist at ENVSN Fest, Gia Peppers was the host of the two-day festival. Peppers is a former ESSENCE Editor as well as 1/3 of the BET series, “Black Coffee.” “Figure out what you want your brand to say, and then go and figure that out,” said Peppers when asked what’s the secret to her success. From hosting to writing, Peppers has made a credible reputation in the industry and landed on stages like Essence Festival, Made In America, and ENVSN.
We got a chance to chat with the host about her day to day, love for Starbucks, and advice on how to build your brand. Read below.
ESSENCE: How has your EVNSN Fest experience been?
Peppers: It’s been a really cute family day. Industry City is the perfect place to have EVSN Fest. You have your vendors but you also have people who are here to share knowledge. And I feel like everybody leaves full. You’ve got great food, great people, great vibes, great information, and great music. Then you go home and go to sleep and it’s a great day.
ESSENCE: How do you manage your day-to-day?
Peppers: Starbucks. Starbucks is the secret to everything, and I’m dead serious. And then learn to do makeup in 10 minutes. Get you a good little concealer, a brow, highlight, and a Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer, and you’re good for the day. Literally all you have do is remember to find what works for you quickly and what helps you feel on at all times and then just continue to cultivate that.
The way I always stay on and aware of my brand is knowing that on days like today I have to give a lot. Yet, Friday was my day to watch movies. Fill yourself up, because you don’t want to give too much where you don’t have anything left.
ESSENCE: What do you tell young women that want to follow in your footsteps?
Peppers: I mean we’ve all been that age before. We’ve all been young, we’ve all been awkward, and we’ve all felt like I don’t belong here. And the biggest piece of advice I always give to people is to write down what you want to be, because the little girl that you are right now, is going to grow into the girl that you hope to be. The unbridled passion that you have right now that nobody’s touched, it’s pure, it’s beautiful. No one’s told you no yet. Remember that, because that’ll keep you going when people do tell you no and you question everything.
I try right now to just remind the girls that you are worth it, you’re beautiful, and that your voice matters. You might be different, but that’s okay because you weren’t meant to be like everyone else. You were meant to stand out. And so just looking them in their eyes and letting them know they’re beautiful and gorgeous and hugging them and giving them good energy so that they walk away feeling better.
“No one’s told you no yet. Remember that, because that’ll keep you going when people do tell you no and you question everything.” – Gia Peppers
ESSENCE: What’s the best way to build your brand?
Social media is everything. Perspective is everything. Study other people that it works for, but then find how it would work for you. What makes you feel the most beautiful, the most empowered? What do you want people to take away from your page and then curate it from there.
It’s all about the purpose and the vision at ENVSN Fest. What do you want to have for yourself and then figuring out how that works. Getting the idea and then tweaking that.